Power of the One

Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Dr. Amir Levine, author of Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find- and Keep- Love: It’s so interesting that you mentioned “the one.” You call it “The power of the one.” This is one of a number of different ways in which you mention in your book how people who are avoidant tend to short-change themselves in love.

Tell us a little bit more about the power of the one. What does that mean?



Dr. Amir Levine

There is “the one.” Then there is something that we like to call “the phantom ex.” These are two things that people who are avoidants use. These are some of the things that we teach people to listen to and watch for.

Often, with people who are avoidant, they get very close to someone. Once they get too close, they start feeling uncomfortable. There is too much closeness and intimacy.

Then they start to find fault in the other person. Either they stay in the relationship and keep their distance or it falls apart and they leave. In dating situations, they need to explain why they lost interest in the person.


Power of the One, Fall in Love

We have this myth in our society that love will conquer all. Eventually, we can all fall in love and have amazing relationships. We just have to fall in love hard enough.

They explain it to themselves. It’s not that they became too close to someone. They think, “It’s just that this person is not the right person. He doesn’t have this quality. If only I would find the right person. Then I’d fall in love. Then the relationship will be perfect.”


Power of the One, High Expectations

They don’t understand that the very basic fact is that they have fallen in love. They got very close and intimate. That’s the very thing that makes them take their distance and all of a sudden lose interest.

It’s something that we teach people to listen to and watch out for.

The other thing is what we like to call “the phantom ex.” That is what a lot of avoidants use as a strategy to minimize intimacy within an existing relationship.

It’s usually someone that they broke up with that is now put up on a pedestal. They see them as the most amazing, perfect person. You are always compared to this phantom ex.

That’s a way to keep your distance from someone. The person that you’re with is always compared to someone else who is better.


Tell Us:

Has the power of the one prevented you from committing to someone? We’d love to hear your stories. Share with us in the comments section below.


The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Dr. Amir Levine

The entire interview transcript is at: Amir Levine Interview – Insights on Dating From A Psychiatrist And Neuroscientist

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: Insights From A Psychiatrist – Dr. Amir Levine Discussion – Author ‘Attached’

Listen to the entire interview on iTunes